Think Traffic Monthly Report – September 2011

  • October 6, 2011 by Corbett Barr
  • 11 Comments

Welcome to another Think Traffic monthly report. If you’re new here, this is the monthly feature where I summarize how we grew the audience for this site over the past month, and explain what we’ll be doing to grow the audience further next month.

Growing an online audience isn’t easy, but it isn’t really complicated either. The formula is simple: 1) identify a need or desire and a way to address it in a new/better way, 2) create outstanding content or a product/service that fills that need/desire and 3) get the word out about what you’ve created.

Of course, the devil is in the details, but that’s the basic formula every successful site follows. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing here since this site launched in March of 2010.

What went on in September?

The Million Dollar Blog Project has already made a pretty big impact here at Think Traffic. We dedicated 2/3rds of the posts last month to the project, and the focus is paying off in new visitors and deeper reader engagement for Think Traffic.

We’ve talked a lot about our goals for the blog we build as part of MDBP, but what about our goals for Think Traffic due to the project?

Aside from creating a great case study in the MDBP, the project itself should (and has started to) do three things for Think Traffic.

1) The MDBP will draw more visitors to Think Traffic. People who are excited about the project are already telling other people about it. Dozens of blogs have written about the MDBP and have sent new visitors here via links to the project.

2) The MDBP will foster deeper engagement among our readers. Deeper engagement simply means people will be spending more time at the site reading more pages, and they’ll be leaving more comments, contacting us more, following our recommendations, etc. This is already happening, and I’ll tell you more about it in a minute when we cover stats for last month.

3) The MDBP will create new revenue opportunities for this site. By showing you how we build our blog and by recommending products and services we use for the new site, we’ll be able to earn affiliate revenues along the way.

This is all great for Think Traffic, but I hope you can learn something more from how the project affects this site.

How could you implement a similarly engaging and ongoing project for your own site? What could you challenge your readers and yourself to do? What big ambitious thing could you show your readers how to do?

Now, let’s talk about some stats for the month.

This Month’s Traffic and Growth Statistics

Think Traffic - Analytics Sept 2011

We saw 32,217 visits this month (versus 28,371 last month). This was a record month for visits and a month to month increase of nearly 14%. If you include visits to the Traffic School sites there were a total of 33,690 visits in September (our 2nd best month overall).

Let’s look at some other stats for last month:

I want to show you how the MDBP has affected two more important stats: average pageviews per visit and average time on site. These are two measures of how engaged your readers are with your content.

First up, check out the average pageviews per visit over the past two months:

Last month, visitors viewed 1.7 pages per visit on average. This month they viewed 2.34 pages per visit. That’s an increase of 38%.

Total pageviews increased from 48,372 last month to 75,260 this month. That’s an increase of 56% in one month!

Next, check out the average time on site over the past two months:

The average time each visitor spent on the site increased from 2 minutes 14 seconds last month to 3 minutes 10 seconds this month. That’s an increase of 56 seconds per visit or 42% since last month.

Growing your site’s top line number of visitors is great, but growing engagement at the same time is doubly awesome.

Thanks everybody for participating in the project and for providing us with so much feedback already along the way. We really appreciate it.

9 total posts were published last month (vs. 8 in the prior month), including 2 guest posts:

Thanks Baker and Jenny for the guest posts last month.

Have you enjoyed the guest posts we’ve published lately? If there are any special guests you’d like us to interview or request an article from, we’d love to hear it in the comments.

Top Traffic Sources

Think Traffic - Sources Sept 2011

Many of the top traffic sources sent more traffic this month than last (Google traffic grew by about 1500 visits), but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

If you look at the number of unique traffic sources, this site received visits from 548 sources this month vs. 481 sources in August (a 14% increase). All those extra sources of traffic can add up, even though each one might only send a handful of visitors.

Top Search Terms:

  • think traffic: 926
  • personal introduction: 485
  • unique selling proposition examples: 440
  • unique selling proposition: 394
  • thinktraffic: 364
  • unique selling point examples: 261
  • sales pitch: 240
  • million dollar blog project: 88
  • website traffic: 84
  • best sales pitch: 68

Top Content

Think Traffic - Content Sept 2011

Look at that, for I believe the first time ever, the home page wasn’t the most viewed part of the site. Last month the Million Dollar Blog Project registration sub-site received more overall pageviews (although it was to many different pages, they all get lumped together).

I have a feeling that trend will continue next month as well.

Lesson learned this month: group projects can be a huge boost to traffic and engagement. It’s also been fun to dig deep into the running themes of the new project, and we have a lot more lined up in the coming months.

We also learned a little about community involvement this month, given the outpouring of concerns over the topic we initially chose for the MDBP. I hope you all feel like we handled that well. I want to make sure the project is useful and interesting to as many Think Traffic readers as possible.

This month we have a bunch of great stuff planned, including getting very close to actually launching our new blog.

As always, if you have any questions or anything we can help shed some light on, feel free to mention it in the comments below, or reach out directly.

Thanks again for reading and for helping us create another record month. If you’ve been getting a lot from Think Traffic recently, we always appreciate if you share the blog with other people who might benefit from it. We’re thankful for Your links, tweets, likes, +1s, and comments. Cheers.

Written by . Corbett is cofounder of Fizzle, a place for creative entrepreneurs, writers, makers, coders and artists, all working to support themselves doing what they love independently on the Internet. Follow Corbett on on Twitter.


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Allie | Ramblings of a WAHM October 6, 2011 at 9:48 am

Corbett,

Thank you for sharing with us your information. I always like to imagine that those numbers are my blog…some day, some day. :-)

You know what is funny? I comment every so often at SPI and sometimes I am so far down the comment list I’m sure nobody sees me. But I get amazing sticky traffic from him. I value Pat’s opinion but I didn’t realize his other readers would be so nice to visit my blog too!

Looking forward to more MDBP.

~Allie

Emily October 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

I hadn’t considered doing an ongoing project as a traffic generator, but I will put it on my list for when my blog gets a bit more popular. Thanks for the idea!

Hector Cuevas October 6, 2011 at 10:00 am

Great stuff Corbett.. really appreciate you sharing this. As a matter fact, your project gave me an idea for a project of my own. And seeing how well it’s going, I’m even more excited to start mine.

David #inoosa October 6, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Well done Corbett. I hope you and your team feel rewarded for the hard work as I am sure you have put hours and hours into the website. Hopefully you have reached a tipping point where it all accelerates from here on.

Andrew October 6, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Good stuff guys. I must admit when I heard about the MDBP that I did think “hmm, this is a great marketing idea”! Keep leading the way!

Alex Aguilar October 6, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Seems that the Million Dollar Blog Project is paying off for you guys! But it’s interesting to see that of the Top Search Terms for your site, the “million dollar blog project” ranks in at 8 with only 88 searches compared to more generic terms like “personal introduction” and “unique selling proposition.” Is this something unusual, or do all those search phrases end up pointing to pages relating to the Million Dollar Blog Project?

Mary October 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Your monthly summary is inspiring! I love the new leaderboard by the way. Are you getting subscriber numbers from our feed? I have subscribers but they didn’t show up on the leaderboard. I don’t think I set up my feed correctly.
Are you guys okay with us asking MDBP questions in your post comments or is there a better place for them?
I am so psyched about this project and can’t thank you enough for starting it!

Mary October 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I saw your notes on the leaderboard and fixed my feed issue; hopefully the right number will show up maybe over the evening …

You guys are doing an awesome job; thanks again!

Anke October 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm

thanks Corbett, great overview! What’s the delay for the feed in the leaderboard? My uniques don’t tie with what I see in clicky stats, is it one day behind or something like that?

Corbett Barr October 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hey Anke, the dashboard is updated once per day. Your monthly uniques should be for the past 30 days.

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